Archive for October 2007

Going Upside Down with Ana Forrest

October 28th, 2007 — 3:35pm

I recently wrote a piece for Yoga Journal on fear of inversions, which will run in the May 2008 issue.

Among the many remarkable teachers I interviewed — Aadil Palkhivala, Tias Little, Judith Lasater, and others, I was most moved by Ana Forrest.

I took Ana’s class at the Yoga Journal Colorado Conference on arm balances. Ana is as fierce as she is kind, and though I was nervous to study with her, she proved to be a great teacher and healer.

She told me to kick into handstand from standing up. I thought she was insane. She promised not to drop me, and I figured, if ever there was a time to try a stunt like that, it was with her.

So I did–  I kicked into handstand, from standing up, and with Ana’s help, I made it upside down.

As I was in the pose, Ana bent down, looked into my eyes, and told me to look back into hers.
Then she said in a very soft voice, “Never say another unkind word towards yourself again.”

And I’ll be damned. I haven’t much since.

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October 22nd, 2007 — 6:09pm

You learn a lot when you help your kids with homework. My sons are studying arachnids, and I just learned that the beast I always called Daddy Long Legs is also known as a Harvestman.

What a fabulous name! One theory is that these arachnids are most often seen in late summer and early fall, at harvest time, hence their name. And did you know they clean their legs by pulling them through their jaws one at a time? How cool is that?

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Ms. Sarkozy

October 20th, 2007 — 1:47pm

Cecilia Sarkosky, the former wife of the President of France, has divorced her husband. She is quoted in an newspaper as saying that “France elected a man, not a couple.” She goes on to say that being the President’s wife and first lady of France ” is not my place.”

I know nothing about French politics or intrigue, but I applaud her honesty. How many people really know their place in this world? For that matter, how many wives of American political leaders would give their right arm to say the same? This is a woman whose life is more important to her than the social role she was given to play.

I say, amen.

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George Bush’s Strategy

October 17th, 2007 — 7:33pm

I was driving to BART today and I turned on the radio. I heard the President’s voice say, “we have a strategy…” and I turned the radio off. I have such a visceral dislike — contempt really — for this President, that even those few seconds of hearing his voice spewing his endless lies was more than I could bear.

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Ciabatta Bread

October 5th, 2007 — 5:04pm

Before I left for Colorado for the Yoga Journal CO conference, I went to the restaurant downstairs from my downtown SF office. It’s organic, with a very yummy salad bar. I ordered a smoked turkey, Niman Ranch bacon, aioli sandwhich on ciabatta, when I noticed the bread slices seemed small. I told the cashier that I loved the sandwich but the bread today was a wee bit on the small side.

The cashier looked at me and said, “And what would you have said if it was on the bigger side today?”

And I thought, damn, she’s right! I wouldn’t have complained, I would have been pleased!

I learned something about myself that day.

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Quaking Aspens and Other Mountain Tales

October 2nd, 2007 — 5:54pm

I’ve been silent for a while because I was at the Yoga Journal Colorado Conference in Estes Park (and, I don’t own a laptop – yet). Though I was working, I took Scott and my sons Matthew and Jack along. While they hiked in Rocky Mountain National Park, I interviewed and/or took classes with such yoga greats as Ana Forrest, Aadil Palkhivala, Tias Little, and Judith Lasater.

I had a remarkable time. From kicking into inversions (not my strong suit) with Ana Forrest to discussing how ego interferes with the deeper practice of yoga with Aadil Palkhivala, I learned much. How vast the study of yoga is, how it is a mirror of the self, how grateful I am to have this practice in my life.

One evening as dusk was falling, the boys and I were walking on the grounds of the YMCA of the Rockies where the conference was held, and we heard the far off bugle of an elk looking for a mate. Out of the descending dark he comes towards us, all antlers and moxie. His bugle had an unearthly quality. His potential mate kept walking away from him. “I dont’ think she likes him Mom,” Matthew said.

Before we left, we all took a walk in Rocky Mountain National Park. I was freezing, and thought my cheeks would fall off. As we wended our way on the path, we made it to a copse of golden Quaking Aspens. I thought this, perhaps, is the closest I’ll ever get to heaven on earth.

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